the persistence of memory

The Copulating Grasshopper: Salvador Dali and the Paranoiac-Critical Method

Daulton Dickey.

Salvador Dali swore he remembered life inside the womb. He called his recollections “intra-uterine” memories. Two images he claims to have seen inside the room later reminded him of eggs.

Eggs helped to define his style: imagine a timepiece as soft and flimsy as a fried egg. Imagine how’d it look if you laid this timepiece on a branch or on the edge of a table. Such perversions of reality led to his most famous painting, “The Persistence of Memory,” indebted to eggs—and Dali’s insistence that he could remember life inside the womb.

He made brilliant, always unexpected associations. Even if we bracket his wild claims—such as remembering the womb or biting off the head of a dead bat to shock a maid—we can discern a method to his singular vision. Dali himself explicitly tells us how to do it. (more…)